Practice relating to Rule 66. Non-Hostile Contacts between the Parties to the Conflict

Note: For practice concerning local arrangements concluded for the evacuation of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, see Rule 109, Section B. For practice concerning the conclusion of an agreement to suspend combat with the intention of attacking by surprise the adversary relying on it, see Rule 64.
No data.
Agreement No. 3 between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the ICRC Plan of Action
Under Paragraph II(2) of the 1992 Agreement No. 3 between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the ICRC Plan of Action, the ICRC requests that all parties accept their responsibilities and take essential measures, such as to “negotiate, organize and respect truces in areas where humanitarian activities are conducted and inform the population accordingly through the media”. 
Agreement No. 3 between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representative of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community) on the ICRC Plan of Action, Geneva, 6 June 1992, § II(2).
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides: “The observation of the principle of good faith must be constant and unfailing in dealings with the enemy.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 1.017.
Belgium
Belgium’s Field Regulations (1964) provides: “It is prohibited to enter in contact with the enemy, except with deserters, the wounded and parlementaires.” 
Belgium, Règlement sur le Service en Campagne, Règlement IF 47, Ministère de la Défense Nationale, Etat-Major Général, Force Terrestre, Direction Supérieure de la Tactique, Direction Générale du Planning, Entraînement et Organisation, 1964, § 21.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states:
Relations between military commanders in the field of operations are necessary … for military or humanitarian purposes …
It is indispensable that, from both sides, these relations [intercourse between belligerents] be marked by the most scrupulous good faith and that no party takes any advantage from these relations that the other party does not intend to concede. 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 40.
Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso’s Disciplinary Regulations (1994) states that it is prohibited for a combatant “to enter in contact with the enemy”. 
Burkina Faso, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 94-159/IPRES/DEF, Ministère de la Défense, 1994, Article 33(3).
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975) states that it is prohibited for a combatant “to enter in contact with the enemy”. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 75/700, 6 November 1975, Article 28.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states:
Article 28: Duties of the combatant
It is absolutely prohibited for him:
- to enter in contact with the enemy or to surrender to the enemy while he has the means to fight. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline générale dans les forces de défense, Décret N° 2007/199, Président de la République, 7 July 2007, Article 1.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides:
Negotiations between belligerent commanders may be conducted by intermediaries known as parlementaires. The wish to negotiate by parlementaires is frequently indicated by the raising of a white flag, but any other method of communication such as radios may be employed. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 14-1, § 3.
Congo
The Congo’s Disciplinary Regulations (1986) states that it is prohibited for a combatant “to enter in contact with the enemy”. 
Congo, Décret No. 86/057 du 14 janvier 1986 portant Règlement du Service dans l’Armée Populaire Nationale, 1986, Article 30(3).
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers):
Chapter 1. Introduction to the law of war
II. The fundamental principles of IHL
Just as military operations are based on principles concerning attack, defence, withdrawal, etc., the law of armed conflicts contains a set of well-defined principles. These concrete principles reflect the realities of conflicts. They represent a balance between the principle of humanity and military necessity, and they are valid at all times, in all places, and in all circumstances. It is essential that these rules are known by all combatants. They must permanently be taken into consideration in every activity of evaluation, planning, and military training or operation. The following principles can be found throughout the texts of the law of armed conflicts.
II.5. Good faith
Good faith between belligerents is a customary principle of the conduct of war. Soldiers must show good faith in their interpretation of the law of armed conflicts. Good faith must also be respected in negotiations between belligerents and in talks with humanitarian organizations.
Chapter 4. Behaviour in action
II. 2. Temporary ceasefires
There are moments during the conduct of operations – apart from combat, of course – when contacts with the enemy can occur. What is meant here are non-hostile contacts, or relations which the opposing forces can regard as necessary.
Every officer has the competence to conclude a temporary ceasefire of a precise and limited scope. Of course, any decision of that type must receive the approval of the hierarchy. Temporary ceasefires can be extremely useful for evacuating or collecting the wounded on the battlefield, or to allow the evacuation of civilians to a safer place. Ceasefires are limited in time and in scope. It is indispensable that the two parties show complete good faith.
IV.3.1. Evacuation of the sick and wounded
The law demands of the parties to the conflict to strive to conclude local arrangements for the evacuation of the wounded, sick, infirm, elderly, children and maternity cases who find themselves in zones under siege or encircled. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 9, 12, 14, 39, 42 and 51; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 13 and 14; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 14, 46 and 73.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) states:
Local interruptions of combat and other arrangements can be concluded between opposing forces. At lower levels, such arrangements can be very simple and concluded orally: voice, radio, bearer of a white flag (flag of truce). At higher levels and for longer lasting interruptions of combat, written agreements shall be concluded. 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 80.
France
France’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), as amended, states that it is prohibited for a combatant “to enter in contact with the enemy”. 
France, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Armées, Decree No. 75-675 of 28 July 1975, replacing Decree No. 66-749, completed by Decree of 11 October 1978, implemented by Instruction No. 52000/DEF/C/5 of 10 December 1979, and modified by Decree of 12 July 1982, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-Major de l’Armée de Terre, Bureau Emploi, Article 9(3).
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states: “A cessation of hostilities is regularly preceded by negotiations with the adversary. In the area of operations the parties to the conflict frequently use parlementaires for this purpose.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 222.
The manual adds:
Apart from detaching parlementaires, the parties to a conflict may also communicate with each other through the intermediary of Protecting Powers. Protecting Powers are neutral or other states not parties to the conflict which safeguard the rights and interests of a party to the conflict and those of its nationals vis-à-vis an adverse party to the conflict … Particularly the International Committee of the Red Cross may act as a so-called substitute … if the parties to the conflict cannot agree upon the designation of a Protecting Power …
A cease-fire is defined as a temporary interruption of military operations which is limited to a specific area and will normally be agreed upon between the local commanders. It shall regularly serve humanitarian purposes, in particular searching for and collecting the wounded and the shipwrecked, rendering first aid to these persons, and removing civilians. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, §§ 231 and 232.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) stresses that non-hostile contacts with the enemy may be “direct or through an intermediary”, for information, warning, summons, local arrangements or the creation of neutralized zones. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 79.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “Many of the customs that are accepted today, such as … not attacking a messenger conducting negotiations … originate in the Middle Ages.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 10.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) notes that specific agreements to be executed on the battlefield may be concluded by parlementaires. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 51.
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) provides:
Local interruptions of combat and other arrangements can be concluded between opposing forces. At lower levels, such arrangements can be very simple and concluded orally: voice, radio, bearer of a white flag (flag of truce). At higher levels and for longer lasting interruptions of combat, written agreements shall be concluded. 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 80.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states:
It is within the legal competence of an officer to arrange a temporary cease-fire for a specific and limited purpose, for example, to permit the collection or evacuation of the wounded. Any such action should be reported to the higher authority. Absolute good faith is required in all such dealings [the arrangement of a cease-fire] with the enemy. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 5.
Lebanon
Lebanon’s Army Regulations (1971) forbids communication by combatants with the enemy. 
Lebanon, Règlement Général de l’Armée, No. 1/400, Ministère de la Défense, Commandement de l’Armée, 14 January 1971, § 15.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) mentions non-belligerent contacts with the enemy through intermediaries such as protecting powers or the ICRC. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 7-SO, § C.
It also states:
Local cease-fires and other agreements may be concluded between the opposing forces. At inferior levels, such agreements may be very simple and concluded orally: voice, radio or bearer of a white flag (flag of parlementaires). At superior levels and for long term cease-fires, written agreements are to be concluded. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 7-O, § 32, see also Fiche No. 9-SO, § C.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands states: “Only a commander may decide to negotiate with the adverse party.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-40.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
Even between the belligerent armies direct contact may sometimes be necessary [for instance to arrange for the collection of the dead or exchange of the wounded] but relations between the belligerent forces are confined to mainly military matters. Occasionally, such relations, for example, the arrangement of a local truce or surrender, may involve political considerations but in view of radio and similar means of communication these matters tend nowadays to be taken up on an inter-government level, avoiding actual negotiations between belligerent commanders.
Negotiations between belligerent commanders are normally conducted, at least in the first instance, by intermediaries known as parlementaires. The wish to negotiate by parlementaires is frequently indicated by the raising of a white flag but any other method of communication, eg by radio, may be employed.
Any agreement made by belligerent commanders must be scrupulously adhered to … As between combatants, the most usual purpose of contact is to arrange for an armistice or truce, whether for a specific purpose or more generally. Whatever the nature of the arrangement it must be entered into and carried out in good faith.
Agreements between belligerents permitting activities between them which are inconsistent with belligerent status are known as cartels. Such an arrangement is voidable by either Party on proof of breach of its terms by the other.
… In addition to any other agreements that may be made between the belligerents or commanders in the field, the Geneva Conventions and [Additional Protocol] I contain a number of provisions recognizing that in the special circumstances specified in these treaties agreements between belligerents may be desirable or necessary. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, §§ 405, including footnote 11, 406(1), 407(1) and (2) and 411.
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War states: “The conduct of war and the wish to restore peace sometimes require intercourse between the belligerents.” 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 24.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Operational Law Manual (1996) states that, instead of the white flag, radio communications or messages dropped from aircraft may be used to start negotiations. 
Republic of Korea, Operational Law Manual, 1996, p. 179.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) notes that the belligerents may conclude special oral agreements on specific questions, such as agreements to allow the search for the wounded or for the flight of a medical aircraft over a small zone controlled by the enemy. Those simple low-level arrangements may be concluded by radio or by bearer of a white flag. Higher-level agreements must be concluded in writing (e.g. the establishment of demilitarized zones, or the flight of a medical aircraft over a large zone controlled by the enemy). 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, §§ 2.6.a and 10.8.f.(3).
The manual adds:
A truce is defined as a temporary interruption of military operations, limited to a specific area and usually concluded between local commanders. It shall regularly serve a humanitarian purpose, to facilitate the removal, the exchange and transport of wounded left on the battlefield, for the evacuation or exchange of wounded and sick from a besieged area, and for the passage of medical and religious personnel and medical equipment on their way to such areas.
In addition to parlementaires, the parties in conflict may communicate through the mediation of the Protecting Powers …
If the parties in conflict have not agreed upon the designation of a Protecting Power, the ICRC, or any other impartial and efficient organization, may act as a “substitute”
One of the most usual missions of the military observers taking part in peacekeeping operations is to act as intermediaries between the parties to the conflict to facilitate the negotiation and implementation of local agreements. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, §§ 2.6.b.(1) and 2.6.c.(2)-(4).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
2.6. AGREEMENTS WITH THE ADVERSE PARTY
The parties to the conflict can conclude special agreements on specific matters, which are normally negotiated and approved by military bodies, although the involvement of civilian or political bodies is sometimes required. Such agreements may not restrict the protection established by the law of armed conflict for people and property. … Agreements can be made on whatever matters are deemed appropriate. The law of armed conflict does not specify which matters can be the subject of agreements, but expressly provides for the ones considered most relevant.
The military personnel of countries that agree to take part in peacekeeping operations can participate as military observers, with the mission of facilitating the negotiation and observance of local agreements and investigating violations of truces and ceasefires.
2.6.a. FORM OF AGREEMENTS
The parties to a conflict can also make verbal agreements, which are normally local, short-term or emergency agreements, such as local agreements to search for and collect the wounded after armed confrontations or an agreement for the flight of a medical aircraft over a small area controlled by the enemy, etc.
Agreements should be made in writing when they are broader in scope and long term, such as agreements for hospital zones, demilitarized zones, neutralized zones, non-defended localities, the flight of medical aircraft over large areas controlled by the enemy, the evacuation of an area under siege, etc.
2.6.b. AGREEMENTS AFFECTING HOSTILITIES
2.6.b.(1). Ceasefires
A ceasefire is a temporary cessation of military operations limited to a specific area and usually agreed between local commanders. They are normally established for humanitarian reasons to facilitate the removal, exchange and transport of the wounded left on the battlefield, the removal and exchange of the wounded and sick from a besieged or encircled area or for the passage of medical and religious personnel and equipment on their way to such areas.
All duly authorized ceasefires must be observed.
2.6.c.(2). Representatives of the Protecting Powers
In addition to the use of parlementaires, the parties to the conflict can also communicate with each other through the Protecting Powers.
2.6.c.(3). Delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross
If the parties to the conflict do not agree on the designation of a Protecting Power, the ICRC or any other impartial and effective humanitarian organization can act in its place as a “substitute”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, §§ 2.6, 2.6.a, 2.6.b, 2.6.b.(1), 2.6.c.(2) and 2.6.c.(3).
The manual further states:
Commanders of opposing forces may establish agreements at any time, provided that they do not adversely affect the status of persons protected under international law. They can use whatever means they have at their disposal to this end. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 7.5.b.
The manual also states:
The representatives or delegates of the Protecting Power(s) and delegates of the ICRC or any other international humanitarian organization are entitled to the same status as parlementaires and the personnel of neutral States. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 5.2.a.(3).(b); see also § 7.5.c.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “Military commanders of both sides may, within the bounds of their authority, contact each other directly in their respective operation zones.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 12(1).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states:
386. It is on occasions unavoidable – and often convenient – for commanders to open direct communication with the enemy for military purposes. Furthermore, humanity and convenience may at times induce them for special reasons to relax the general prohibition of intercourse between belligerents. …
387. It is essential that in such non-hostile relations the most scrupulous good faith should be observed by both parties, and that no advantage be taken which is not intended to be given by the enemy. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, §§ 386 and 387.
The manual also provides:
There is nothing in [Articles 32–34 of the 1907 Hague Regulations] which indicates that a white flag is the only method whereby one belligerent may signify to the other its desire to open communications. In modern conditions of warfare wireless messages and loud-speakers are also used as a means of conveying the wish of one belligerent to communicate with the other. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 394, footnote 2.
The manual further emphasizes:
420. A suspension of arms is essentially a military convention of very short duration, concluded between commanders of armies, or detachments in order to arrange some local matter of urgency: most frequently to bury the dead, or to collect and succour the wounded, or, occasionally, to exchange prisoners, to permit conferences.
497. A cartel, in the wider sense of the term, is issued to signify a convention concluded between belligerents for the purpose of permitting certain kinds of non-hostile intercourse which would otherwise be prevented by the conditions of war. For instance, communication by post, trade in certain commodities, and the like, may be agreed upon by a cartel. In its strictly military sense, however, a cartel means an agreement for the exchange of prisoners of war. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, §§ 420 and 497.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states:
It is within the legal competence of an officer to arrange for a temporary cease-fire for a specific and limited purpose, for example to permit the collection or evacuation of the wounded … Absolute good faith is required in all such dealings [the arrangement of a cease-fire] with the enemy. 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 17, § 18.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
Principle of Good Faith
10.2. Whenever there are non-hostile relations between parties to an armed conflict, those relations must be conducted with the utmost good faith and any agreement reached scrupulously observed. In particular, there should be no abuse of a flag of truce or emblems of identification in dealings between belligerents. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 10.2.
In its chapter on negotiations between belligerents, the manual further states:
Humanitarian arrangements to be specifically agreed may include … the provision of medical care or food supplies … An armistice agreement cannot take away the protection afforded to individuals under the law of armed conflict, though it can improve upon that protection. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 10.24.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) states: “Absolute good faith with the enemy must be observed as a rule of conduct.” 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 49.
The manual also states:
452. One belligerent may communicate with another directly by radio, through parlementaires, or in a conference, and indirectly through a Protecting Power, a third State other than a Protecting Power, or the International Committee of the Red Cross. …
453. It is absolutely essential in all nonhostile relations that the most scrupulous good faith shall be observed by both parties, and that no advantage not intended to be given by the adversary shall be taken.
458. In current practice, radio messages to the enemy and messages dropped by aircraft are becoming increasingly important as a prelude to conversations between representatives of belligerent forces.
469. In its narrower sense, a cartel is an agreement entered into by belligerents for the exchange of prisoners of war. In its broader sense, it is any convention concluded between belligerents for the purpose of arranging or regulating certain kinds of nonhostile intercourse otherwise prohibited by reason of the existence of the war. Both parties to a cartel are in honor bound to observe its provisions with the most scrupulous care, but it is voidable by either party upon definite proof that it has been intentionally violated in an important particular by the other party. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, §§ 452, 453, 458 and 469.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “The [1949] Geneva Conventions recognize the special status of the ICRC and have assigned specific tasks for it to perform, including … serv[ing] as a neutral intermediary between belligerents.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 6.2.2.
Lebanon
Under Lebanon’s Code of Military Justice (1968), communication with the enemy by combatants is a punishable offence. 
Lebanon, Code of Military Justice, 1968, Article 124(2).
United States of America
The US Uniform Code of Military Justice (1950) punishes “any person … who communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly”. 
United States, Uniform Code of Military Justice, 1950, Article 104(2).
No data.
Australia
In 2009, in a ministerial statement before the House of Representatives on the situation in Sri Lanka, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs stated: “Australia calls on the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to declare a temporary no-fire period to allow for the evacuation of civilians.” 
Australia, House of Representatives, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ministerial statement: Situation in Sri Lanka, Hansard, 5 February 2009, p. 623.
Colombia
According to the Report on the Practice of Colombia, government practice has been to express publicly its willingness to enter into a dialogue with opposing armed groups for humanitarian reasons or to start negotiations. 
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 2.2.
During the takeover of the embassy of the Dominican Republic by the M-19 in 1980, direct contacts were established through the mediation of the Red Cross and of one of the detained ambassadors. The hostages were ultimately released and the guerrillas were allowed to leave the country. 
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 2.2, referring to Miguel A. Afanador Ulloa, Amnistías e indultos: la historia reciente, 1948-1992, Administrative Department of the Public Service of Colombia, Ed. Guadalupe Ltd., Santafé de Bogotá, 1993, p. 75.
Likewise, during the takeover of the Palacio de Justicia in 1985, direct communications were established by phone between the leader of the armed opposition group and an officer of the national police, although without success. In the meantime, military operations were not suspended. 
Colombia, Cundinamarca Administrative Court, Case No. 4010, Intervention by the Minister of Agriculture, Cabinet record, 7 November 1985, Record of evidence; Cundinamarca Administrative Court, Case No. 4010, Attestation by the Cabinet, 6 November 1985, Record of evidence.
Egypt
The Report on the Practice of Egypt gives armistice and cease-fire agreements with Israel as examples of negotiation with the enemy. 
Report on the Practice of Egypt, 1997, Chapter 2.2.
Georgia
According to the Report on the Practice of the Russian Federation, Georgia appealed to “the authority of the leader of the autonomous Republic of Adzharia, who negotiated directly with the Abkhaz authorities” to obtain the release of prisoners. 
Report on the Practice of the Russian Federation, 1997, Chapter 2.2.
Jordan
Jordan has negotiated several temporary cease-fire agreements with the Palestinian resistance. The Report on the Practice of Jordan mentions two of them concluded in 1970. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 2.2, referring to Cease-fire Agreement between the Jordanian Government and the Palestinian Resistance Movement, 7 July 1970; Cairo Agreement between the Jordanian Government and the Palestinian Resistance Movement, 27 September 1970.
Philippines
According to the Report on the Practice of the Philippines, “government troops are directed to negotiate with the rebels in cases of armed confrontation”. 
Report on the Practice of the Philippines, 1997, Chapter 2.2.
The report also notes that, owing to the guerrilla nature of the conflict, negotiations between government troops and the armed opposition are usually carried out through third parties (local political and religious leaders). Cease-fires are, for example, negotiated to prevent economic disturbances or during Christian holiday celebrations. 
Report on the Practice of the Philippines, 1997, Chapter 2.2, referring to Romy Elusfa, CHR Stung by AFP Rejection, Today, 12 April 1997; Ali G. Macabalang and Cena de Guzman, Gov’t, MILF Reach Accord on Dam Dispute, Manila Bulletin, 30 January 1995; Farm Pact Forged with MILF Bared, Manila Bulletin, 10 June 1996; Aris R. Ilagan, AFP Optimistic on Truce with NPA: Holiday Ceasefire on, Manila Bulletin, 25 December 1993.
Rwanda
On the basis of replies by army officers to a questionnaire, the Report on the Practice of Rwanda mentions the use of the telephone and the sending of intermediaries, such as neutral civilian emissaries with a written authorization (the ICRC, OAU, non-governmental organizations, religious leaders, journalists or members of peacekeeping forces), as means of communication between the parties in battlefield negotiations.  
Report on the Practice of Rwanda, 1997, Replies by army officers to a questionnaire, Chapter 2.2.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Ceasefire
A ceasefire is an immediate halt or end to hostilities. This military concept refers to both agreements negotiated between the parties to a conflict and the unilateral termination of all military activity by one of the parties, possibly for a specified period of time or in a specified area. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, p. 9.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
On the basis of a meeting with an army lawyer, the Report on UK Practice comments that negotiation with the enemy “is a tricky area now” owing to the practicalities of fast-paced modern warfare. 
Report on UK Practice, 1997, Meeting with an army lawyer, 18 July 1997, Chapter 2.2.
United States of America
According to a memorandum of a legal adviser of the US Department of State in 1975, the president, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, has the constitutional authority to conclude armistices and other agreements relating to the military security of the United States. 
United States, Legal Adviser to the Department of State, Memorandum of Law on the authority of the US President to enter into international agreements pursuant to his independent constitutional powers, 31 October 1975, reprinted in Eleanor C. McDowell, Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1975, Department of State Publication 8865, Washington, D.C., 1976, pp. 314-315.
United States of America
The Report on US Practice states:
The need to seek express authority to negotiate an agreement with the enemy … has been reinforced by the erosion, since the end of World War II, of distinctions between political agreements, such as peace treaties, and purely military agreements, such as truces and armistices … [The Air Force Pamphlet] noted that the practice of concluding peace treaties had become rare, and that armistices had often become functional substitutes for peace treaties. The term “cease fire” was increasingly used for agreements that would once have been designated armistices.
Modern combat conditions may also make it more difficult to communicate directly with an enemy armed force.
US commanders have little inherent authority to negotiate with the enemy, and unauthorized communications with the enemy may be a military offense. The practice of the United States no longer recognizes any clear category of agreements as purely military without political overtones. 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 2.2. (The report notes that general armistices often include political provisions, and therefore require high-level approval.)
Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of
The Report on the Practice of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia notes that, during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, there were no large military operations in Slovenia that could have triggered negotiations with the enemy on the battlefield and that “it is hardly realistic that traditional requirements of the international law of warfare would have been respected” in the conflict in Croatia. The report concludes that the opinio juris of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia “is, beyond any doubt, that a legal possibility exists to contact the enemy on the battlefield”. 
Report on the Practice of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 1997, Chapter 2.2.
Zimbabwe
According to the Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe, it is the opinion of the Judge Advocate General of the Defence Forces of Zimbabwe that, although there is no actual practice, “both the traditional and modern methods [of communication] are likely to be acceptable”. 
Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe, 1998, Chapter 2.2.
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that:
Contacts between opposing armed forces can be taken at any time by the commanders concerned. They can be established by all available technical means.
When direct contacts between commanders or contacts through bearers of flag of truce or similar persons are not possible, commanders may also ask for cooperation from the Protecting Power or from intermediaries such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Commanders of opposing armed forces may conclude agreements at any time. Such agreements shall not adversely affect the situation of war victims as defined by international treaties.
Very local, short term or urgent agreements can be concluded orally (e.g. local agreements for the search of wounded after combat action, isolated overflight of a small enemy controlled area by medical aircraft).
Long lasting and large scale agreements need to be concluded in writing (e.g. neutralized zones, non-defended localities, overflight of a large enemy controlled area by medical aircraft, agreement for the evacuation of a besieged area). For such agreements, inspiration can be taken from detailed provisions foreseen by the law of war (e.g. hospital zones, demilitarized and non-defended zones and localities). 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 539 and 541–544.
No data.
Note: For practice concerning the carrying of the white flag of truce by a parlementaire, see the definition of a parlementaire in Rule 66, Section C. For practice concerning the use of the white flag of truce as an indication of a wish to surrender, see also Rule 47. For practice concerning the abuse, misuse or improper use of the white flag of truce, see Rule 58. For practice concerning the perfidious use of the white flag of truce, see Rule 65, Sections D and E.
No data.
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Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) states: “It is important to note that a white flag represents an expression of a desire to negotiate; it is not necessarily an indication of intent to surrender or enter into a cease-fire.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 505.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) notes:
Customary international law recognises the white flag as symbolising a request to cease-fire, negotiate, or surrender. An adversary displaying a white flag should be permitted the opportunity to surrender, or to communicate a request for cease-fire or negotiation. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 910.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
International law recognises the white flag as symbolising a request to cease-fire, negotiate, or surrender. An adversary displaying a white flag should be permitted the opportunity to communicate a willingness to surrender, or to communicate a request for cease-fire or negotiation. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 9.10.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) expressly recognizes the white flag as the flag of parlementaires. 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, Annex 2, No. 6.
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers recognizes “the white flag of parlementaires (used for negotiation or surrender)”. 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, p. 9, see also p. 10.
The manual states: “This flag is actually recognized as the signal of a request for suspension of operations to enter into negotiations or to surrender.” 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, p. 15.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) recognizes the “white flag (flag of parlementaires used for negotiations and surrender)”. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule I, p. 15.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states that “the white flag of truce … is utilized to negotiate”. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 22; see also Part I bis, p. 38 and Part I, p. 13.
The Regulations also states that “the white flag of truce … [is used] by parlementaires or envoys who head towards the adversary in order to announce their intention to negotiate”. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 7; see also Part I bis, p. 60.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) mentions “the flag of parlementaires or white flag for temporary suspension of combat”. 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 37, § 144.2 and p. 61, § 232.2.
The white flag is defined in the manual as the flag of parlementaires and the flag of surrendering combatants. 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, pp. 38, 62 and 146.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that during naval operations, “bombardment must cease if there is a manifest intention of the adversary … to negotiate. This will be the case if the latter raises the white flag.” 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 258, § 613.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states:
Article 32: Prohibitions
It is prohibited to soldiers in combat:
- to use improperly the flag of parlementaires, the national flag of the enemy, as well as the distinctive insignia recognized by international conventions. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline générale dans les forces de défense, Décret N° 2007/199, Président de la République, 7 July 2007, Article 32.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) notes: “Personnel bearing a white flag are indicating a desire to negotiate or surrender.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-5, § 45.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) stresses:
The showing of a white flag is not necessarily an expression of an intent to surrender. Furthermore, it is not necessarily applicable to all opposing forces in an area. The white flag can also mean that opposing forces wish to temporarily cease hostilities to talk or negotiate. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 5, § 3.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001), in its chapter on targeting, states: “Personnel bearing a white flag are indicating a desire to negotiate or surrender. They should not be attacked but should be dealt with cautiously”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 434.
In its chapter entitled “Communications and contact between opposing forces”, the manual states:
1. Negotiations between belligerent commanders may be conducted by intermediaries known as parlementaires. The wish to negotiate by parlementaires is frequently indicated by the raising of a white flag, but any other method of communication such as radios may be employed.
2. Parlementaires normally operate under a white flag of truce. A parlementaire may be accompanied by other personnel agreed upon by the commanders involved …
4. To fire intentionally upon the white flag carried by a parlementaire is a war crime. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1402.1–2 and 4.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) states:
[T]he showing of a white flag is not necessarily an expression of an intent to surrender. Furthermore it is not necessarily applicable to all opposing forces in an area. The white flag can also mean that opposing forces wish to temporarily cease hostilities to talk or negotiate. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 5, § 3.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 1 (Basic and team leader instruction): “The white flag (flag of parlementaires) [is] used to signal a request for negotiation or surrender).” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 1: Formation élémentaire toutes armés (FETA), formation commune de base (FCB), certificat d’aptitude technique No. 1 (Chef d’équipe), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter II, Section II, § 2.
Colombia
Colombia’s Soldiers’ Manual (1999) recognizes “the white flag, which means surrender, parlementaire, negotiation and spirit of conciliation”. 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, p. 28.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers):
Chapter 3. Identification
III.4. The white flag (or flag of truce)
The white flag is a customary element of war, and remains widely in use until this day. The white flag is used to indicate the intention to negotiate and to protect the persons who negotiate. It does not necessarily indicate – as it is often believed – an intention to surrender. The negotiation with an enemy can have concrete military motives: organization of a ceasefire in order to collect the dead and injured, or in order to exchange prisoners …
Chapter 4. Behaviour in action
II.4. The white flag (the flag of truce)
We have already spoken of this element of customary law; let us now see how it can be used during operations.
The white flag signifies “I want to enter into communication or negotiate with you”, and not necessarily “I want to surrender”. How does one use the white flag? The party which uses the white flag must cease firing. As soon as it has done so, the other side must do the same. Enemy forces then can in certain cases show their surrender in an evident manner, by throwing away their weapons and raising their arms. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 27, 33–34, 39 and 42–43; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 32–33; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 46–47.
Dominican Republic
Under the Dominican Republic’s Military Manual (1980), displaying a white flag is, inter alia, a manner of expressing a wish to surrender. 
Dominican Republic, La Conducta en Combate según las Leyes de la Guerra, Escuela Superior de las FF. AA. “General de Brigada Pablo Duarte”, Secretaría de Estado de las Fuerzas Armadas, May 1980, p. 6.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states: “Customary international law recognizes the white flag as symbolizing a request to cease-fire, negotiate, or surrender.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 11.10.4.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) recognizes the “white flag or flag of parlementaires”. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 61.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) recognizes the white flag as the flag of parlementaires and the flag of surrendering combatants. 
Germany, Taschenkarte, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Bearbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, Zentrum Innere Führung, June 1991, p. 6.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states that parlementaires “make themselves known by a white flag”. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 223, see also Appendix 1/2.
Germany
Germany’s IHL Manual (1996) recognizes the white flag as the flag of parlementaires. 
Germany, ZDv 15/1, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, DSK VV230120023, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, June 1996, Appendix 1/2, No. 11.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) recognizes the white flag as the flag of parlementaires and the flag of surrendering combatants. 
Germany, Druckschrift Einsatz Nr. 03, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten - Grundsätze, Erarbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten - Handbuch, DSK SF009320187, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, R II 3, August 2006, p. 6.
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) recognizes the “white flag (flag of parlementaires used for negotiations and surrender)”. 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, p. 29.
Italy
Italy’s Combatant’s Manual (1998) states:
Parlementaires, i.e. those who request to meet with the Commanding Officer of the enemy unit to discuss a ceasefire or to surrender, are protected by the “White flag”.
IT IS PROHIBITED to deceive the enemy by raising a white flag and then opening fire.
IT IS PROHIBITED to carry out any act of violence against Parlementaires and their escort, unless they carry out a hostile act first. 
Italy, Manuale del Combattente, SME 1000/A/2, Stato Maggiore Esercito/Reparto Impiego delle Forze, Ufficio Dottrina, Addestramento e Regolamenti, 1998, § 247.
[emphasis in original]
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states: “The white flag or flag of truce indicates no more than an intention to enter into negotiations with the enemy. It does not necessarily mean a wish to surrender.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 4.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states that the white flag is a means of contacting the enemy. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 9-SO, § C.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section on “Distinctive signs”, states that the “white flag … [is] used for negotiation”. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, p. 143.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides that the white flag “indicates that the party who displays the flag wants to negotiate … In addition, the white flag is also accepted as a usual indication of surrender.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IV-4.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands states: “Displaying the white flag means that one wants to negotiate with the adverse party (for example about a cease-fire) or that one wants to surrender.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-40; see also p. 7-37.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
The white flag indicates that the party flying the flag wishes to parley. This party must cease firing. The bearer of the white flag, and those accompanying this person, have a right to physical inviolability. The receiving party need not cease fire over the whole sector. The white flag is also accepted as the customary indication of a wish to surrender. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0418.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “The wish to negotiate by parlementaires is frequently indicated by the raising of a white flag … Parlementaires normally operate under a flag of truce.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 406(1) and (2).
The manual adds that the white flag is deployed:
1. When a person is authorised by one Party to enter into communications with the adverse Party; if used, the white flag should be carried by the parlementaire or an accompanying individual so as to be clearly visible.
2. If an element of the armed forces wishes to surrender to an adverse Party a white flag, when held so as to be clearly visible, may be utilized to facilitate a peaceful surrender. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, Annex B, § B44.
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War notes:
The hoisting of a white flag means that a belligerent wishes to communicate with the enemy, either for the purpose of surrender or for some other purposes. Hoisting the white flag by a small number of soldiers usually [expresses] the wish to surrender; in the case of a large unit it is usually the expression of a wish to conduct negotiations. 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 24.
Philippines
The Code of Ethics (1991) of the Philippines stresses that the white flag of truce is a “worldwide custom used to signal the temporary cessation of hostilities between warring parties”. 
Philippines, Armed Forces of the Philippines Code of Ethics, 1991, Article 5, Section 2(4.5).
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Operational Law Manual (1996) states that it is the expression of surrender for a soldier or a unit to display a white flag. It is also generally used for initiating negotiations. 
Republic of Korea, Operational Law Manual, 1996, p. 179.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states: “The white flag signifies the intention of those who have flown it to enter into negotiations with the opposite party and does not necessarily mean surrender.” 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 67.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “A white flag designates a truce, a request to negotiate or an indication of surrender.” 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 23; see also § 37(d).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “The white flag is the distinctive sign of parlementaires.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 5.2.d.(1).
The manual also states: “The usual and generally accepted way of expressing an intention to negotiate is to wave a white flag.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 7.5.c.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states:
Rule 8
I remain fair:
- I shall use the … white flag … in accordance with the rules (cf. Rule 10).These also protect my comrades and me;
Rule 10
I am familiar with the international protective signs and their meaning. 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Rules 5 and 8.
The Aide-Memoire further states with regard to the white flag:
Correct behaviour
- The White Flag clearly indicates willingness to negotiate, sometimes even willingness to surrender;
- Respect bearers of the White Flag. They are not allowed to be attacked.
Prohibited is/are:
- Attacks against bearers of the White Flag;
- Improper use of the White Flag in order to achieve a military advantage. 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Chart of Protective Signs.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states: “The white flag indicates that the enemy wants to negotiate. It can also indicate that the enemy wishes to surrender. Persons, buildings and vehicles marked with the white flag must not be attacked.” 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, § 186.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) recognizes the “white flag (flag of parlementaires used for negotiations and surrender)”. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule I, p. 16.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states:
From time immemorial a white flag has been used as a signal by an armed force which wishes to open communications with the enemy. This is the only meaning which the flag possesses in international law. The hoisting of a white flag, therefore, means in itself nothing else than one party is asked whether it will receive a communication from the other. It may indicate merely that the party which hoists it wishes to make an arrangement for the suspension of arms for some purpose; but it may also mean that the party wishes to negotiate for surrender. Everything depends on the circumstances and conditions of the particular case. For instance, in practice, the white flag has come to indicate surrender if hoisted by individual soldiers or a small party in the course of an action. Great vigilance is always necessary, for the question in every case is whether the hoisting of the white flag was authorised by the commander. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 394.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states: “The white flag, or flag of truce, indicates no more than an intention to enter into negotiations with the enemy. It does not necessarily mean a wish to surrender.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 16, § 10.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
10.5. From time immemorial, a white flag has been used as a signal of a desire to open communications with the enemy. This is the only meaning that the white flag possesses in the law of armed conflict. Wilful abuse of a white flag that results in death or serious injury is a grave breach of Additional Protocol I.
10.5.1. The display of a white flag means only that one party is asked whether it will receive a communication from the other. In some cases it may also mean that the party that displays it wishes to make an arrangement for a temporary suspension of hostilities for a purpose, such as the evacuation of the wounded, but in other cases it may mean that the party wishes to negotiate for surrender. Everything depends on the circumstances and conditions of the particular case. For instance, in practice, the white flag has come to indicate surrender if displayed by individual soldiers or a small party in the course of an action.
10.5.2. Those who display a white flag should cease firing until the invitation has been answered. Any abuse of a white flag is likely to be a war crime. Great vigilance must, however, always be displayed in dealing with enemy forces that have displayed a white flag, because other enemy soldiers in the vicinity may be unaware of the display of the white flag and continue firing. This is especially likely where the decision to display a white flag was taken not by the enemy commander on behalf of the entire force under his command but by individual soldiers. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 10.5–10.5.2.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) notes:
In the past, the normal means of initiating negotiations between belligerents has been the display of a white flag …
The white flag, when used by troops, indicates a desire to communicate with the enemy. The hoisting of a white flag has no other signification in international law. It may indicate that the party hoisting it desires to open communication with a view to an armistice or a surrender. If hoisted in action by an individual soldier or a small party, it may signify merely the surrender of that soldier or party. It is essential, therefore, to determine with reasonable certainty that the flag is shown by actual authority of the enemy commander before basing important action upon that assumption. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 458.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states:
The white flag has traditionally indicated a desire to communicate with the enemy and may indicate more particularly, depending upon the situation, a willingness to surrender. It raises expectations that the particular struggle is at an end or close to an end since the only proper use of the flag of truce or white flag is to communicate to the enemy a desire to negotiate. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 8-6a.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) states: “Customary international law recognizes the white flag as symbolizing a request to cease-fire, negotiate, or surrender.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 11.9.5.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Customary international law recognizes the white flag as symbolizing a request to cease-fire, negotiate, or surrender.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.5.1.5.
The Handbook also states: “Once an enemy warship has clearly indicated a readiness to surrender, such as by … hoisting a white flag … the attack must be discontinued.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.6.1.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) states: “The white flag is the sign of a parlementaire and indicates the wish of a party to the conflict to enter into contact with the other side through the intermediary of the person carrying such flag.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 119, commentary.
Venezuela
Venezuela’s Penal Code (2005) states:
The following shall be punished with military arrest or political prison for one to four years:
1. Venezuelan or foreign nationals who, during a war between Venezuela and another nation, violate the … principles observed by civilized peoples during war such as respect for … the flag of truce … , without prejudice to military laws which shall be specially applicable to these matters. 
Venezuela, Penal Code, 2005, Article 155(1).
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Botswana
The Report on the Practice of Botswana considers the flag of truce as a traditional method to communicate with the enemy. 
Report on the Practice of Botswana, 1998, Chapter 2.2.
China
The Report on the Practice of China states: “As far as communication with the enemy is concerned, China follows the traditional way of raising white flags.” 
Report on the Practice of China, 1997, Chapter 2.2.
Malaysia
The Report on the Practice of Malaysia states: “The use of white flag is acknowledged as a sign of ceasing hostilities.” 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 2.2.
Rwanda
On the basis of replies by army officers to a questionnaire, the Report on the Practice of Rwanda states that the flag of truce may be used to negotiate with the enemy on the battlefield. 
Report on the Practice of Rwanda, 1997, Replies by army officers to a questionnaire, Chapter 2.2.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states: “Other emblems with a protective function include the white flag for Combatants who wish to parley or surrender … . Improper use of these emblems is prohibited by law.” 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, p. 19.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
A training video produced by the UK Ministry of Defence emphasizes that the white flag is protective and that it only indicates a wish to negotiate, not to surrender. 
United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Training Video: The Geneva Conventions, 1986, Report on UK Practice, 1997, Chapter 2.2.
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “[The] white flag (flag of truce) [is] used for negotiations and surrender.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces , ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 963.
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Hague Regulations (1899)
Article 32 of the 1899 Hague Regulations states: “An individual is considered as a parlementaire who is authorized by one of the belligerents to enter into communication with the other, and who carries a white flag.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 29 July 1899, Article 32.
Hague Regulations (1907)
Article 32 of the 1907 Hague Regulations states: “A person is regarded as a parlementaire who has been authorized by one of the belligerents to enter into communication with the other, and who advances bearing a white flag.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907, Article 32.
Brussels Declaration
Article 43 of the 1874 Brussels Declaration provides: “A person is regarded as a parlementaire who has been authorized by one of the belligerents to enter into communication with the other, and who advances bearing a white flag.” 
Project of an International Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War, Brussels, 27 August 1874, Article 43.
Oxford Manual
Article 27 of the 1880 Oxford Manual states: “A person is regarded as a parlementaire who has been authorized by one of the belligerents to enter into communication with the other, and who advances bearing a white flag.” 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Article 27.
Oxford Manual of Naval War
Article 45 of the 1913 Oxford Manual of Naval War provides: “A ship authorized by one of the belligerents to enter into a parley with the other and carrying a white flag is considered a cartel ship.” 
The Laws of Naval War Governing the Relations between Belligerents, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 August 1913, Article 45.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) defines a parlementaire as “an individual authorized by one of the belligerents to enter into communication with the other and who advances bearing a white flag”. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 6.001.
Belgium
Belgium’s Field Regulations (1964) defines a parlementaire as a person “who has been authorized by one of the belligerents to enter into communication with the other, and who advances bearing a white flag”. 
Belgium, Règlement sur le Service en Campagne, Règlement IF 47, Ministère de la Défense Nationale, Etat-Major Général, Force Terrestre, Direction Supérieure de la Tactique, Direction Générale du Planning, Entraînement et Organisation, 1964, § 22.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) defines a parlementaire as “the person authorized by a belligerent to enter into communication with the adversary and who advances bearing a white flag (at night a white light)”. 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 40.
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Officers states: “A parlementaire is a person who advances bearing a white flag, in order to negotiate.” 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, Part I, Title II, p. 25.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975) states: “Any person who advances without weapons and displaying the white flag shall be considered as a parlementaire.” 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 75/700, 6 November 1975, Article 30.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states:
Article 30: Definition
Any person who advances without weapons and displaying the white flag shall be considered a parlementaire; he enjoys an absolute immunity and it is prohibited to attack him or retain him prisoner. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline générale dans les forces de défense, Décret N° 2007/199, Président de la République, 7 July 2007, Article 30.
Canada
Under Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999), parlementaires are intermediaries by whom negotiations between belligerent commanders may be conducted. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 14-1, § 3.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter entitled “Communications and contact between opposing forces”:
1. Negotiations between belligerent commanders may be conducted by intermediaries known as parlementaires. The wish to negotiate by parlementaires is frequently indicated by the raising of a white flag, but any other method of communication such as radios may be employed.
2. Parlementaires normally operate under a white flag of truce. A parlementaire may be accompanied by other personnel agreed upon by the commanders involved. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1402.1–2.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states:
A cessation of hostilities is regularly preceded by negotiations with the adversary. In the area of operations the parties to the conflict frequently use parlementaires for this purpose … Parlementaires are persons authorized by one party to the conflict to enter into negotiations with the adversary. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, §§ 222 and 223.
The manual adds: “Defectors or members of friendly forces taken prisoner by the adversary have no status as parlementaires nor as persons accompanying parlementaires.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 225.
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) defines a parlementaire as:
a person authorized by a military belligerent authority to enter into direct communication with the enemy; the scope of his powers is usually to conclude specific agreements to be executed on the battlefield. The parlementaire … must advance bearing a visible distinctive sign consisting of a white flag. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 51.
The manual adds that the authorization for a parlementaire to enter into negotiations must be in writing. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 52.
The manual further emphasizes the importance of the use of parlementaires in the context of peacekeeping operations, not only for the safeguard of human life, but also to prevent or rapidly put an end to possible incidents, especially those involving the use of arms. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 60.
Italy
Italy’s Combatant’s Manual (1998) states: “Parlementaires, i.e. those who request to meet with the Commanding Officer of the enemy unit to discuss a ceasefire or to surrender, are protected by the ‘White flag’”. 
Italy, Manuale del Combattente, SME 1000/A/2, Stato Maggiore Esercito/Reparto Impiego delle Forze, Ufficio Dottrina, Addestramento e Regolamenti, 1998, § 247.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands defines a parlementaire as “a person who has been authorized by one of the belligerents to enter into negotiations with the other party and who advances bearing a white flag”. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IV-4.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “A person who is authorized by one of the belligerents to parley with the other party, and who presents himself under a white flag, is called a ‘parlementaire’.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0419.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) notes: “Negotiations between belligerent commanders are normally conducted, at least in the first instance, by intermediaries known as parlementaires … Parlementaires normally operate under a flag of truce.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 406(1) and (2).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War states: “The usual agents in non-hostile intercourse between belligerents are known as parlementaires. The parlementaires must carry a white flag … [and] an authorisation in writing signed by the sending commander.” 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 24.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) defines the term “parlementaire” as: “A person authorized by the military authorities to enter into direct parleys with the enemy.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, Annex 9, Glossary of Terms.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) defines “parlementaire” in its Glossary of Terms as: “A person authorized by the military authorities to enter into direct parleys with the enemy.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, p. 411.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
[P]arlementaires are persons authorized by their command to enter into communication with the enemy command and coming with a white flag. The parlementaire as well as persons who may accompany him (the trumpeter, bugler or drummer, the flag-bearer and the interpreter) have a right to inviolability. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 1; see also §§ 7 (prohibited methods of warfare) and 67 (armistice and termination of combat operations).
Spain
Spain’s Field Regulations (1882) provides that a parlementaire is “the official sent to the enemy with formal orders and powers to negotiate agreements, capitulations; to request suspension of arms, truce or armistice; to present claims or observations about violations of agreements”. 
Spain, El Reglamento para el Servicio de Campaña, 4 January 1882, § 901.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) defines parlementaires as “the persons authorized by one of the parties to enter into negotiations with the adversary, and who advances bearing a white flag”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 2.6.c.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Parlementaires are those who have been authorized by one of the parties to the conflict to enter into communication with the other, bearing a white flag.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.6.c.(1); see also §§ 5.2.a.(1).(b) and 7.5.c.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) defines a parlementaire as a person “who is authorized by one of the belligerents to enter into communication with the other and who advances bearing a white flag”. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 13.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “‘Parlementaires’ means persons designated by the military command to negotiate with the enemy command.” 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.37.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states: “The usual agents in the non-hostile intercourse of belligerent armies are known as parlementaires.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 389.
The manual also states:
A person to be regarded as a parlementaire must be authorised by one of the belligerents to enter into communication with the other and must present himself under cover of a white flag. The authorisation [for a parlementaire to enter into negotiations] should be in writing and be signed by the sending commander. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 393.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
Negotiations between belligerent commanders are normally conducted, at least in the first instance, by an intermediary, known technically as a “parlementaire”, normally operating under a flag of truce, who has been authorized in writing under the signature of the sending commander. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 10.4.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides that parlementaires are “agents employed by commanders to go in person within the enemy lines for the purpose of communicating or negotiating openly and directly with the enemy commander”. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 459.
The manual states: “A person is regarded as a parlementaire who has been authorized by one of the belligerents to enter into communication with the other and who advances bearing a white flag.” 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 460.
Moreover, the manual states: “Parlementaires must be duly authorized in a written instrument signed by the commander of the forces.” 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 462.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) defines a parlementaire as “a person who is authorized by one party to the conflict to enter into communication in its name with another party in order to negotiate a specific question or to deliver a message”. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 116.
The manual provides that “a parlementaire can be escorted by other persons”, such as an interpreter. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 118.
The manual also states: “A parlementaire or a person in his escort is required to carry the white flag of parlementaires.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 119.
In addition, the manual states: “A parlementaire should have a written authorization of the person in charge for making contact with the representative of the enemy side.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 123.
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, defines a parlementaire as “a person authorized by military authority to enter into direct communication with the enemy. The parlementaire must be provided with a document proving his status and powers and must advance with a white flag.” 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 67.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The commentary on the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, states: “A parlementaire is a person who, under authorization by one Party to the war or armed conflict, conveys a message to another Party.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic, Penal Code, 1976, as amended in 2001, commentary on Article 149.
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Hague Regulations (1899)
Article 33 of the 1899 Hague Regulations stipulates: “The chief to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him in all circumstances.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 29 July 1899, Article 33.
Hague Regulations (1907)
Article 33 of the 1907 Hague Regulations stipulates: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not in all cases obliged to receive him.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907, Article 33.
Brussels Declaration
Article 44 of the 1874 Brussels Declaration provides:
The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not in all cases and under all conditions obliged to receive him … He may likewise declare beforehand that he will not receive parlementaires during a certain period. 
Project of an International Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War, Brussels, 27 August 1874, Article 44.
Oxford Manual
Article 29 of the 1880 Oxford Manual states: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not in all cases obliged to receive him.” 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Article 29.
Oxford Manual of Naval War
Article 45 of the 1913 Oxford Manual of Naval War provides: “The commanding officer to whom a cartel ship is sent is not obliged to receive it under all circumstances.”  
The Laws of Naval War Governing the Relations between Belligerents, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 August 1913, Article 45.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him at all times.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 6.002.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) provides: “The chief to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him in all circumstances.” It also states that it is prohibited for commanders to decide a priori that they will not receive parlementaires. 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 40.
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Officers (1994) states that the parlementaire “does not necessarily have to be received by the adverse party”. 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Manuel d’Instruction pour Officiers, Etat-Major Général, Division Opérations, 1994, Part I, Title II, p. 25.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states: “There is no obligation upon the adverse party to receive a parlementaire.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 14-1, § 5.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter entitled “Communications and contact between opposing forces”:
There is no obligation upon the adverse party to receive a parlementaire. The adverse party does not have to cease combat. The belligerent may not fire upon the parlementaire, white flag or party. The parlementaire and those who are in his or her party are entitled to complete inviolability, so long as they do nothing to abuse this protection, or to take advantage of their protected position. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1402.3.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers):
II.4. The white flag (the flag of truce)
The white flag signifies “I want to enter into communication or negotiate with you”, and not necessarily “I want to surrender”. How does one use the white flag? The party which uses the white flag must cease firing. As soon as it has done so, the other side must do the same. Enemy forces then can in certain cases show their surrender in an evident manner, by throwing away their weapons and raising their arms. A surrender is generally accepted and the enemy is treated consequently, but there is no obligation to receive a delegation of parlementaires. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 42–43.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not in all cases obliged to receive him.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 226.
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) provides a parlementaire must be received, unless particular circumstances do not permit it. However, it can be declared that no parlementaires will be received for a certain period of time. Such a policy may also be adopted as a reprisal measure. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, §§ 54 and 55.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides: “There is no obligation to receive a flag party and it may be sent back.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 4.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “A commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IV-4.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “The commanding officer to whom a parlementaire is sent is under no obligation to receive him.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0419.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “There is no obligation upon the adverse Party to receive a parlementaire.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 406(3).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War provides: “The force commander (of the other side) is not obliged to receive the parlementaire.” 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 24.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
Refusal to enter into negotiations with the enemy does not violate international humanitarian law, however in any case the commander shall ensure the inviolability of the parlementaire and the persons who accompany him. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 67.
Spain
Spain’s Field Regulations (1882) states that a commander may refuse to receive a parlementaire only if it would result in an immediate and manifest prejudice to operations or if it appears to be a dilatory manoeuvre. 
Spain, El Reglamento para el Servicio de Campaña, 4 January 1882, § 903.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him in every case.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 2.6.c.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Commanders to whom parlementaires are sent are not obliged to receive them.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.6.c.(1); see also § 7.5.c.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 14.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states:
The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him in every case. There may be a movement in progress the success of which depends on secrecy, or owing to the state of the defences, it may be considered undesirable to allow an envoy to approach a besieged locality. In direct contrast, however, to a former rule, it is now no longer permissible – except in cases of reprisals for abuses of the flag of truce – for a belligerent to declare beforehand, even for a stated period, that he will not receive parlementaires. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 398.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides: “There is no obligation to receive a flag party which may be sent back.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 16, § 10.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him in every case. However, it is no longer permissible for a belligerent to declare beforehand, even for a stated period, that he will not receive parlementaires. However, the commander is entitled to take all steps necessary to protect the safety of his position or unit and to prevent the parlementaire from taking advantage of his visit to secure information. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 10.8.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not in all cases obliged to receive him.” 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 463.
The manual adds:
The present rule is that a belligerent may not declare beforehand, even for a specified period – except in case of reprisal for abuses of the flag of truce – that he will not receive parlementaires. An unnecessary repetition of visits need not be allowed. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 464.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) provides:
The party to the conflict to which a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him in any case.
It is forbidden for the parties to the conflict to announce [beforehand] that they will not receive a parlementaire …
It is allowed to refuse to receive a parlementaire in order for him not to see or find out something about movements or regrouping of troops or the like. It is also allowed to refuse to receive a parlementaire as a measure of reprisals, if the party that sends the parlementaire had previously abused the flag of parlementaires. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 125.
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, stipulates: “The commander of the operating force is not obliged to receive a parlementaire in all circumstances.” 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 68.
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Hague Peace Conference (1899)
The Report of the Second Commission of the 1899 Hague Peace Conference stated that Article 33 of the 1899 Hague Regulations “deals with the right that every belligerent has … to refuse to receive a parlementaire … All these rules conform to the necessities and customs of war.” The Second Commission also took the position that “the principles of the law of nations do not permit a belligerent ever to declare, even for a limited time, that he will not receive flags of truce”. 
James B. Scott (ed.), The Reports of the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1917, p. 147.
According to Levie, this would mean that, “while a commander may refuse, in a specific case, to receive a parlementaire, perhaps because he believes that it is merely an attempt to gain time, he may not state it as a general policy”. 
Howard S. Levie (ed.), The Code of International Armed Conflict, Vol. I, Oceana Publications Inc., London/Rome/New York, 1986, p. 155.
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “The commander is not in all circumstances obliged to receive a bearer of flag of truce or similar persons.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 540.
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